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Prepared Meals

As our lives have become busier and schedules more hectic, the market has responded by making more prepared foods available. With the traditional family atmosphere now a part of history, there is often no one at home with the time or energy to spend hours cooking from scratch. When today’s families do eat at home, the meal is often assembled from a collection of different prepared foods that only need to be heated before eating.

There is certainly nothing wrong with the concept of prepared foods. Manufacturers should be applauded for meeting a need. However, prepared foods are often high in salt and fat. There is actually a reason for this. Most polls indicate that the number one factor affecting food choice for consumers is taste. Price comes in second, with healthiness trailing in third place. When prepared foods are labeled as "low-fat" or "low-sodium," many consumers interpret that as "less taste." When it comes to eating healthy, we are often our own worst enemy.

In terms of carbohydrates, there is really no reason why prepared foods should be much different than their more traditional counterparts. It is interesting to note that low-fat versions of some items (prepared salad dressings, for example) often tend to have higher carb counts than the regular variety. You will just have to be alert to nutritional content to catch little variances like these.

The only real challenge that low-carb dieters may face is that prepared foods may only offer limited variety. In other words, some of your favorite low-carb choices may not be available in prepared meals.

One bonus for both diabetics and dieters is that eating prepared foods could actually make logging nutritional content a little easier. When you prepare foods the "old-fashioned" way, you must keep track of the individual carb contents of each ingredient, then add everything up and divide by the number of servings. Not only is this process prone to error, people often just give up and guess. At least with prepared foods, the serving sizes are set and the carbohydrate grams are clearly printed on the label.

As with most of the items reviewed on this site, there is no reason why prepared foods must be banished from the table as long as they are served occasionally and with your eyes wide open with regard to the ingredient list.



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BANQUET EXTRA HELPING Salisbury Steak DinnerBANQUET Salisbury Steak MealBANQUET Sliced Beef Meal
BANQUET Turkey & Gravy with Dressing MealBANQUET Veal Parmigiana Meal with Tomato SauceBANQUET
BARBER FOODS Chicken Cordon BleuBeef Pot PieBeef stew
BeefBETTY CROCKERBreakfast Burrito
CASTLEBERRY PREMIUM Beef StewCHEF BOYARDEE Beef Ravioli in Tomato & Meat SauceCHEF BOYARDEE BEEFARONI
CHEF BOYARDEE MINI RAVIOLICHEF BOYARDEE Spaghetti & Meatballs in Tomato SauceCHEF BOYARDEE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Pasta Shapes with Mini Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
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Cinnamon Swirl French Toast with SausageEL RIO Chili Con CarneFIESTA CAFE Beef & Bean Chimichanga
FREEZER QUEEN Gravy & Sliced Beef MealGREEN GIANTHANOVER
HEALTHY CHOICE Beef MacaroniHEALTHY CHOICE Cacciatore ChickenHEALTHY CHOICE Chicken Enchilada Suprema in Green Chili Sauce
HEALTHY CHOICE Chicken Teriyaki with Rice MedleyHEALTHY CHOICE Country Roast Turkey with Mushrooms in Brown Gravy with Rice PilafHEALTHY CHOICE Mesquite Beef with Barbecue Sauce
HEALTHY CHOICE Mesquite Chicken BBQHEALTHY CHOICE Salisbury Steak with Mushroom GravyHEALTHY CHOICE Traditional Meat Loaf with Tomato Sauce
HEALTHY CHOICEHODGSON MILLHORMEL Chili with Beans
HORMEL ChiliHORMEL Corned Beef HashHORMEL Roast Beef Hash
HORMEL Turkey Chili with BeansHORMEL Vegetarian Chili with BeansHORMEL
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KID CUISINE COSMIC CHICKEN NUGGETSKRAFT Macaroni and Cheese Dinner Original FlavorLAS CAMPANAS Beef & Bean Burrito
LEAN POCKETS Glazed Chicken Supreme Stuffed SandwichesLIBBY'S SPREADABLES Ready To Serve Sandwich SaladsLIPTON
Macaroni and CheeseMARIE CALLENDER'S Beef Stroganoff and Noodles with Carrots & PeasMARIE CALLENDER'S Chicken Pot Pie
MARIE CALLENDER'S Escalloped Noodles & ChickenMARIE CALLENDER'S Turkey with Gravy & Dressing with BroccoliMARQUEZ PRIMERA Shredded Beef
MICHELINA'S Spaghetti with Meatballs & Pomodoro SauceMRS PATERSON'S AUSSIE PIENALLEY Chili Con Carne with Beans
NESTLEOLD EL PASO Chili with BeansPasta with meatballs in tomato sauce
Pasta with Sliced Franks in Tomato SaucePATIO Beef & Bean Burrito with Green ChiliPATIO Mexican Style Dinner with Tamales
RED BARON Premium PocketsScrambled Eggs & Sausage with Hashed Brown PotatoesSpaghetti w/Meat Sauce
STAGG Classic Chili with BeansSTAGG Country Chili with BeansSTAGG Dynamite Chili with Beans
STAGG Ranchhouse Chili with BeansSTAGG SILVERADO Chili with BeansSTOUFFER'S Chicken Enchilada and Mexican-Style Rice with Monterey Jack Cheese Sauce
STOUFFER'S Chicken PieSTOUFFER'S Creamed Chipped BeefSTOUFFER'S Escalloped Chicken & Noodles
STOUFFER'S HOMESTYLE Salisbury Steak in Gravy & Macaroni and CheeseSTOUFFER'S Lasagna with Meat & SauceSTOUFFER'S LEAN CUISINE Chicken a l'Orange in Sauce with Broccoli and Rice
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STOUFFER'S LEAN CUISINE Homestyle Stuffed Cabbage with Meat in Tomato Sauce and Whipped PotatoesSTOUFFER'S LEAN CUISINE LUNCH EXPRESS Rice and Chicken Stir-Fry with VegetablesSTOUFFER'S LEAN CUISINE Macaroni and Beef in Tomato Sauce
STOUFFER'S LEAN CUISINE Oriental Beef with Vegetables and RiceSTOUFFER'S LEAN CUISINE Spaghetti with Meat SauceSTOUFFER'S LEAN CUISINE Spaghetti with Meatballs and Sauce
STOUFFER'S LEAN CUISINE Swedish Meatballs with PastaSTOUFFER'S LUNCH EXPRESS Chicken Alfredo with fettucini and vegetablesSTOUFFER'S Stuffed Peppers with Beef in Tomato Sauce
STOUFFER'SSUNNY FRESHSWEET SUE Chicken & Dumplings
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THE BUDGET GOURMET LIGHT French Recipe Chicken; VegetablesTHE BUDGET GOURMETTortellini
Turkey Pot PieTYSON Beef Stir Fry Kit; Cooked White RiceTYSON Chicken Fajita Kit
TYSON Chicken Mesquite with Barbecue SauceTYSON Roasted Chicken with Garlic SauceWEIGHT WATCHERS Chicken Enchilada Suiza
WEIGHT WATCHERS Macaroni & Beef in Tomato SauceWEIGHT WATCHERS ON-THE-GO ChickenWEIGHT WATCHERS SMART ONES Roast Turkey Medallions and Mushrooms in Sauce with Rice and Vegetables
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